A Giclee fine art print on Photo Rag

Print Matters

For me, a photograph is a memory and as the photographer, we are the curators of memories, both of our own, and that of our clients. In the digital world that we live in, having a tactile print, whether in an album, on a print or in the form of wall art will always be a more direct, more impactful and more emotive way of recalling those memories.” – Kevin Mullins

Never have truer words been spoken when it comes to your printed images!

Old wedding albums, framed family photographs and rusty tins full of loose prints – that is how we remember viewing photographs with our friends and family.  Liam Shaw of York Place Studios wrote:

“Photographs take a new life when they’re printed; they pop in a way that just isn’t possible in any other media and there’s something much more magical about seeing something tangible in front of you, something that feels somehow more final and timeless.”

There is a science behind this theory as well. A study by Bangor University using fMRI brain scans to compare digital and paper have shown that physical material is more “real” to the brain.  It has a meaning, and a place. It is better connected to memory because it involves more emotional processing.

Prints tell stories. Looking at photographs in their physical form allows you to slow down and enjoy the memories associated with them on their own and without the distractions of notifications and adverts popping up while you view them.

With so many digital storage options at your client’s fingertips, it is important to remember one thing – technology comes and goes. Would you have the same nostalgic feeling if all you had to view your parents wedding images on a floppy disk? Would you even be able to use it?

As technology evolves, chances are that the method of storing images, like USB storage keys, are going to go the way of the floppy disc within the next decade. When was the last time you saw a computer with a working floppy disk drive? Will home computers still have USB drives in ten years?

The advantages of offering prints to your customers splits into two distinct categories. What works for them and what works for you.

We recently spoke to photographer/trainer/blogger/marketeer/guru Nina Mace about why she feels incorporating print and wall art packages into your business is a win-win.

“It is so important to include prints even with your digital packages so your clients can see their images at their best, as they are meant to be based on your original vision. It also removes the risk of them printing on a low quality instant printer which can change white balance and exposure.

A set of prints in a display box or a large, framed image on the wall tells your clients’ unique story — it will remind them of the moments captured in that photo every day.”

A huge plus for the you, the photographer, is that clients will put the prints you supply straight onto their walls or on their coffee tables so they, and their friends and family can enjoy them.  Referral is the greatest form of free marketing and having your work on your client’s walls means you are reaching a wider audience. Not only that but your client will be seeing your work on a daily basis making them much more likely to return to you themselves for future sessions.

Finally, impact! Handing client’s real prints gives additional value to your work – it makes photography as a service more tangible. Its lovely for the client but also for you as a photographer to see your images realised. Creating beautiful art and imagery was probably the reason you became a photographer in the first place and your stunning portrait work displayed in beautiful mats or frames show off your skill and professionalism better than any digital file could ever do.

“There is nothing better than seeing an image you have worked so hard to create printed to perfection and displayed on the wall. The print for me is the final piece of the story, in the long process of creating an image from conception to final output. How it is printed and on what surface is what makes the image come alive. The print is so important to me, it is how my images will be viewed for years to come.”Lisa Visser

5 Reasons to Order Your Photo Prints Online

Whether you’re an amateur photographer honing your craft or a seasoned professional embarking on a new commercial project, a first-class photo printing service is the key to doing your images justice. But life often gets in the way of taking the time to find the best option available, especially when quicker, more convenient alternatives exist. For this reason, many photographers instead choose to order prints online – but can you ensure the same level of quality while simultaneously streamlining the order process?

You’d be forgiven for thinking that online photo printing means a decline in quality, and that impressive outcomes are traded for quick results – but you’d be wrong. Today, we’re taking a look at some of the key benefits that come with choosing to print photos online – giving you all the know-how you need to guarantee your images the royal treatment.

 

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1. Convenience

Ordering your prints in-store means you’re at the mercy of traditional opening hours – and if you’re unavailable during this time window, it can be a difficult and lengthy process getting your images printed professionally. When you order photo prints online, however, you’ll enjoy the luxury of a 24/7 service. Online stores never close, meaning you’re free to submit your order anytime, anywhere – whether it’s from the comfort of your own home or on the go.

2. Choice

No two images are the same, and online photo printing gives you an opportunity to customise every print to suit your pictures. Whether your latest shots will be best displayed on contemporary acrylic blocks or deserve the large format treatment, the diversity you’ll find when you order prints online means each image can be presented through the most appropriate medium available.

If you’re looking for some elegant, rustic prints, our brand new birch blocks could be the all-natural solution you need. Precision cut by some of the North East’s most accomplished craftsmen, these impeccable blocks boast a treated wood finish that emanates quality and class.

To give your photo prints a truly contemporary finish, how about something completely different? You’re guaranteed to fall in love with our ultra-minimalist block mounts, combining a practical and resilient printing solution with a stylish and understated look.

3. Flexibility

If you’re looking for more than a ‘one size fits all’ approach to photo printing, online is the way to go. With the ability to tailor every order to your exact specifications, from the materials used to the exact dimensions of the final outcome, you can guarantee a result you’re happy with when you print pictures online. Thanks to flexible and user-friendly online order systems, customers decide how their photos are printed – and if that means larger-than-life prints for a statement feature wall or upcoming show, that can be arranged.

Find out more about large photo prints, if you’re looking for something big and beautiful.

4. Speed

In the world of professional photography, timely prints can be a godsend – and ordering photo prints online takes the stress out of getting yours on schedule. With an order process that takes a matter of minutes on any device, and swift delivery available throughout the UK, taking your pursuit of high quality prints online is sure to speed things up. If you’ve taken a spectacular new shot ahead of an imminent exhibition or just can’t wait to see your favourite image immortalised in radiant colour, order prints online and they’ll be with you in no time.

5. Delivery

Enthusiastic amateurs and trained professionals alike can find online photo printing UK-wide, meaning you’re not limited to labs in your area. If you can’t manage to collect your prints, that’s not a problem. Speedy, uncomplicated delivery is always available, so that we can put our customers’ convenience first. Once you’ve placed your order, all that’s left to do is wait for us to deliver your gorgeous new prints.

At Digitalab, we strive to provide the best online photo printing service anywhere in the UK – giving photographers the freedom to have every image printed their way, and the luxury of quick and easy online ordering.

Kick-start the order process today if you’re ready to have your photographs professionally printed in our state-of-the-art lab.

 

Picture Perfect: 5 High Quality Photo Gifts

Photographs help us to immortalise the moments we want to remember – and with so many diverse ways to display your precious memories, you can have your photographs transformed into a range of bespoke gifts. Whether you’re in hot pursuit of the perfect wedding present or a unique graduation gift, personalised photo gifts allow you to print your images on everything from photo albums to canvas wraps.

Whichever medium you opt for, photo gifts are the perfect present for any occasion – and turning your photographs from digital images into tangible gifts is a piece of cake. If you’re looking for an easy way to create personalised photo gifts out of your photos, we’ve compiled a list of 5 ways to help you make your gift as unique as your memories.

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1. Photo albums

While they may be the most traditional way of giving a photo gift, albums are still as popular as ever. From wedding albums to baby and toddler photo albums, a collection of memories can be transformed into a bespoke book of images – keeping your memories alive long after the photographs were taken. Photo albums provide stunning personalised gifts for any occasion, especially if they’re filled with fond memories – and ordering your album online allows you to sift through your images to find the very best of the bunch. So, whether it’s a graduation gift full of university photos or a Father’s Day album filled with snaps of your new baby, an album is an ideal way to make your gift a memorable one.

2. Block frames

Whether it’s a class portrait to brighten up a teacher’s office or a family photograph to display in the home, block frames can be designed to suit all tastes. Thanks to their versatility, block frames don’t have to remain fixed in one place – making them easy to transport and ideal for bringing a piece of home with you when travelling. Block frames can be created as an individual display or as part of a set, and can be freestanding or hung on a wall. Whether you’re uploading your photos from a laptop, memory card or USB device, online printing makes it easy to view all your images in one place.

3. Acrylic blocks

Acrylic blocks are a striking, contemporary way of displaying photographs and make a suitable gift for any occasion. Thanks to their 30mm thickness, acrylic blocks can be used as freestanding ornaments, as well as impactful prints. Because they’re mounted onto a special optically-clear adhesive, the images printed onto the blocks have a prism-like appearance – and when viewed from different angles, this 3D effect brings the photographs to life. Acrylic blocks make beautiful personalised photo gifts as they can be tailored to your specifications – and when ordering online, you can also experiment with adding text to your image before settling on a final product.

4. Canvas wraps

Canvas wraps provide a contemporary way of presenting your photographs – and with Digitalab’s high quality giclée canvas wraps and fine art prints, you’re guaranteed professional photo gifts every time. A bespoke canvas wrap can brighten up any home interior, using an original image to bring focus to a feature wall or a set of canvases to tell the story of the family. With a UV protective laminate sealing the canvas print, this durable design makes an ideal gift for anyone, anywhere. The laminate is splashproof and reduces the risk of cracking – so whether your photo gifts will be hanging in a nursery or a bathroom, a kitchen or an office, you needn’t worry about damage to the canvas.

5. Collages

For a present that’s packed with memories, a photo collage makes the perfect gift. Whether it’s a collection of wedding day photos, a romantic timeline or a testament to a long-lasting friendship, a collage gives you the opportunity to get creative and design every aspect of your gift. From images to colours to themes, photo collages put you in charge, making them the ultimate personalised gifts – and they’re easy to create, too. Professional online photo printing makes transferring your images from your digital device or social media accounts a breeze – giving you an enormous pool of photographs to choose from.

Whether you’re looking for a creative photo collage or a one-of-a-kind photo album, Digitalab can help you find the best medium for your images and transform them into exclusive, personalised photo gifts. Offering a great array of online photo printing options, we’re committed to giving our customers the best possible results every time. Order online now to get yours.

The 10 Photo Printing Commandments

In pursuit of producing the perfect photograph, capturing the image is just the start – and when it comes to turning the images into stunning prints, many photographers fall at the final hurdle. While there’s the temptation to print your images from home, this can be a tricky and surprisingly expensive process – and without professional equipment, you’ll be unable to produce images of the same quality as professional photo printing experts.

Whether your prints are for business or pleasure, an art gallery or a home interior, following a list of photo printing best practices will help you on your way to producing professional prints and ensuring a high-quality result every time. So whether you’re an enthusiastic amateur or a seasoned pro, we’ve put together a list of 10 photo printing commandments guaranteed to help you get the best out of every image.

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1. Go big

The process of printing the perfect picture starts at the lens – by capturing high-quality shots. By selecting a high resolution in the capturing stage, your image will benefit from maximum  megapixels and result in a sharper end product at the printer.

2. Find the ideal file format

Prior to your image being ready for print, it’s essential to guarantee that it’s saved in the most suitable file format. While JPEGs work by compressing true-colours to create a realistic image, PNGs are better suited to low-colour images – and therefore not always suitable for high quality photo printing.

3. Select a suitable size

Once you’ve selected the most appropriate file format, sizing your image should be your next priority. Selecting an appropriate image size is the difference between producing a sharp, high-quality image or a blurred and fuzzy outcome.

4. Be patient with aspect ratio

Determining the relationship between the width and height of an image can be fundamental to its quality when it comes to print. Although it will take patience, this can be altered to suit your image and ensure the best possible result at the printing lab.

5. Use a professional photo printer

One of the most common mistakes in photo printing is choosing an unsuitable printer for the images in question. The first thing to consider is whether a photo inkjet or laser printer is better suited to your image – and this is likely to change from one photograph to the next. A professional photo lab will offer a range of photo printing services to suit your images, including Lightjet 5000 photographic printers which produce high-quality digital C-Type prints.

6. Avoid cheap inks

High quality photographic ink can be expensive, which is why many photographers opt for cheaper alternatives – but this can have a detrimental effect. Even if you’ve created the ideal composition and taken the time to ensure your image is high res, choosing cheap inks means your image won’t be printed in the quality it deserves. For a professional end product, it’s worth paying extra for high-quality inks.

7. Choose the best photographic paper

Choosing the best photographic paper for your image is largely dependent on your printer. To guarantee professional results, photo labs choose the best option for your image and ensure an impressive result every time.

8. Beware of dust marks

Dust marks are a common problem when it comes to photo prints and finding ways to reduce them will require patience. Pay close attention to every part of the shot and, if necessary, use healing tools to touch up your images as you go. If this fails, try cleaning your sensor.

9. Be daring with your display

Once you have the perfect print, it’s time to consider presentation – how do you want to display your image? This decision comes down to several factors – including your intended audience, the most suitable format for your photo and, of course, personal preference. A mounted print offers a more lightweight, modern look, while framed prints can give your image a stylish and professional finish.

10. Choose a professional photo printing lab

A professional photo printing lab takes the stress away from the photographer and allows them to spend more time focusing on the thing they love – capturing images. From online photo printing to in-house photo printing services, if you want superior quality images every time, there’s no better option than a professional photo printing lab.

Transforming your photo from a digital image into a tangible product is the ultimate reward for any photographer – but with so much time, patience and expensive equipment required to create the perfect image, choosing a professional photo printing lab can make the whole process a breeze.

Whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer, Digitalab can help you find the best photo printing option for your images. We’re printing specialists, committed to giving our customers the best possible results every time. Explore our online photo printing services now to find your perfect match.

 

Canvas Prints vs. Acrylic Prints: Finding Your Perfect Fit

When it comes to photography, there’s more to the process than creating the ideal composition. Whether you’re a professional photographer looking for high quality printing solutions for your images or an amateur who wants to learn more about the industry, it’s important to understand that different printing options are suited to different images.

While hours of planning and preparation can go into capturing the perfect picture, your labour will be ultimately fruitless unless you choose a printing solution that does your image justice. Both canvas prints and acrylic prints offer a gorgeous way to display your photographs, but they differ greatly when it comes to their unique benefits.

If you need some help demystifying these professional printing solutions, we’re breaking down the features of acrylic and canvas prints to help you decide which one’s right for your shots.

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The Process

Canvas prints are made by printing an image directly onto a canvas, which is then stretched or wrapped around a frame – either wrapping the image around the stretchers or using a white or coloured border. Canvas gallery wraps can be made to bespoke sizes – meaning that, large or small, the end result will be a truly individual print. Canvas prints can be protected by a UV laminate before they’re wrapped around the wooden frame. Acrylic photo printing involves printing onto photographic paper and sandwiching between two sheets of 5mm acrylic.  The back sheet of acrylic can be black, white or transparent, depending on which best suits the style of the image. Aluminium standoffs are used to attach the acrylic frame to the wall, giving it visual depth.

Appearance

In terms of displaying your final product, it’s essential to think about the aesthetic you’re aiming for. To achieve a sleek and contemporary look, acrylic printing provides vibrant and sharp images. While it’s still not as widely used as canvas printing, acrylic photo printing continues to grow in popularity – and is particularly important for professionals who place a great deal of value in presentation. Canvas printing, however, produces a textured finish to give your print a more old-school and authentic look. Canvases are the more popular choice in interior design and home decor, offering an easy and affordable way to display prints. Acrylics, on the other hand, are often used in a more commercial environment – particularly in office spaces and reception areas.

Colour Vibrancy

Where vibrancy is concerned, acrylic prints have an edge on canvas printing – with the face mount option taking full advantage of the reflective quality of acrylic. Because no light passes through an acrylic print, deep, rich colours are able to maintain their vibrancy. In canvas printing, on the other hand, more colour needs to be added to guarantee the best ink coverage, which means that detailing can be lost.

Durability

If you’re looking for the most durable option, both canvas and acrylic prints boast their own protective benefits – but acrylic photo printing is the best option where longevity is concerned. This form of printing is shatter resistant, lighter than glass and provides UV protection to prevent your image being damaged by sunlight – with some acrylic prints even being resistant to scratching.

For the canvas wraps, the laminate leaves your canvas splash-proof and easy to wipe down as well as offering UV protection. If the canvas wrap is varnished and not laminated, as is often the case with cheaper alternatives, the canvas is at risk of ink cracks – but the laminate finish means this won’t be an issue.

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Price

Cost is a key factor when it comes to choosing the best photo printing option for your images. For working photographers, it’s undoubtedly worth spending extra on acrylic prints, which provide a more durable and vibrant outcome on the whole.

Canvas printing continues to grow in popularity, with canvas wraps offering the chance to create a bespoke piece of artwork at a competitive price. There’s no doubt, though, that acrylic photo printing is hot on the heels of this old favourite, making it a worthy photo printing option for amateurs and professionals alike.

Whether you’re interested in canvas prints or acrylic prints, Digitalab can help you find the best photo printing option for your images. We’re printing specialists, committed to giving our customers the best possible results every time – order online now to get yours.

“How To..” video tutorials

We have been adding some tutorials to our site by way of some instructional videos to demonstrate how to use certain aspects of our online photo printing website. We hope that you will find these useful and informative.

The video above (best viewed in HD) shows how to create your own wedding album or photo album using our online software which has built in page templates of variety of colours and layouts for you to use. There are more “how to” videos on our website. Click on the following links for more on how to create your own photo album online or to see all the videos available why not check out our Digitalab YouTube channel. If there is any aspect of our online system that you would like help with then please get in touch with us. Email us via our contact form or leave a comment on this blog

Online Photo Printing Services Reviews

We are pleased to report that in January’s issue of the Advanced Photographer we came in the top 3  in their review of UK online photo printing services scoring a very satisfying 95/100!

 

Some of the points they made included the fact that our online ordering service is one of the easiest to use and that the “quality of prints from Digitalab was high.”

To summarise their review of us this what they had to say… “Digitalab makes online printing a great experience from the easy ordering process to the high quality of the prints. It was amongst the best we tested..”

If you wish to see how easy it is to order your prints from us why not give our user-friendly online photo printing service a try now?

Click the following link to find out more about the comprehensive range of professional photo lab services that we can offer you.

Bigger Lightjet Prints now available to order online

Due to customer demand we have added some larger print sizes to our online photo printing ordering system.

You can now order prints up to 60″x 40″ through our online system. When sizing your files for these larger prints you can size the files at half the dimensions at 305dpi (the resolution that the Lightjet prints at). So if you are after a 48″x36″ you can upload a JPG sized at 24″x18″ through our online system and because of the LightJet’s superb interpolation abilities you won’t be able to see any loss of quality compared to a print from a full size image. How does the LightJet manage this? Well here is the manufacturer’s technical explanation:

“Using our proprietary adaptive 16-point bi-cubic algorithm, the LightJet enhances sharpness through on-the-fly pixel interpolation. Because the pixels are faithful to the original image, the system can output small files at high resolution with no loss of sharpness. Unlike software interpolators which limit the flexibility of the interpolation process, our hardware uses complex algorithms to produce the best possible results.” 

Well that goes way over my head, so full marks to you if you understand it, all I know is that having used our LightJet for several years I know from the results we have seen that the LightJet interpolation is far superior to results when resizing in Photoshop and the like. The LightJet exposes the photographic paper using lasers to produce stunning true photographic prints which are then processed through RA-4 chemistry. I will again leave the technical bit to the manufacturer:

“Using red, green and blue lasers, the LightJet achieves true continuous-tone photographs without visible dots. Inkjet and electrostatic printers, which simulate photo quality with half-tone dot patterns, would need to image at 4000 dpi to duplicate the same image crispness, highlights and shadow detail.

The larger sizes now available to you online are available in Matt, Gloss or Fujiflex finishes – all Fuji Crystal Archive Professional Photographic papers.

To see exactly what sizes are now on offer please visit the Large Format Digital Printing section of our online system.

Acrylic Block Prize Draw Winner

We are pleased to announce that the winner of our draw, selected from customers who ordered prints via our online photo printing system over the festive period, is Charles Willis. Charles wins a 30mm Acrylic Block using an image of his choice and can choose from the sizes we currently have available online, which are 5″ x 5″, 7″ x 5″ and 8″ x 6″. Charles, who runs a photography business in Southampton, was pleasantly surprised to hear of his win having “never won a competition before!”.

The Acrylic Photo Blocks are a relatively new addition to our online photo products but because of their instant popularity and due to subsequent customer requests we will be making some new sizes available soon. So keep an eye out for those becoming available soon on our online photo printing site.

 

Windows 7 & Mac OS X compatible Online Photo Printing software & it’s free!

Due to customer demand we are now happy to announce that we have a Beta version of our Desktop Kiosk available to download from our online photo printing website. This is now compatible with Windows 7, Mac OS X & Linux. The new Desktop kiosk software features a drag and drop interface designed to suit a typical professional photographer’s workflow. It also allows for much faster image selection and much faster uploads to our online ordering system. There is more functionality to come and it is undergoing further development so any feedback is valued. Click here to download Digitalab’s new Windows 7 & Mac compatible digital photo printing Desktop Kiosk software

If you already have our previous Desktop Kiosk on your system this new software will not overwrite the old one but will run as a separate program.